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IGPA conducts poll of experts on pandemic response

Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020

* IGPA

The University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) today releases results from the first in a series of Pandemic Stress Indicators designed to evaluate the social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinois residents.

The Pandemic Stress Indicators grew out of the work on IGPA’s Task Force on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This first stress indicator is a weekly poll of three sets of experts about pandemic policies, starting with how and when to take steps to reopen the economy. Experts on economics, public health, and/or vulnerable populations from across Illinois have generously agreed to provide, via periodic surveys, opinions on pandemic policies. The panelists, with affiliations, are listed in Appendix A. In answering the surveys, panelists provide only their own personal views, and do not offer official positions on behalf of their respective institutions. […]

The inaugural survey was fielded May 20-23. There were 27 responses, 11 from experts in economics, and 8 each with expertise in public health and vulnerable populations.

The full list of experts is here.

1) In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, officials issued a series of orders declaring Illinois to be in a state of disaster, and requiring most individuals to stay at home, except for essential activities. Should these orders be altered in any way in the coming week, starting Monday May 25?

    • Officials should ease the restrictions to allow more public and economic activities.
    • Officials should leave the present orders in place unchanged.
    • Officials should tighten the restrictions to allow fewer public and economic activities.
    • I’m uncertain what officials should do.

Pretty much divided.

2) Ideally, who should be setting or revising rules to “re-open” Illinois?

    • the president
    • the president and congress, through the normal national legislative process
    • the governor
    • the governor and general assembly, through the normal state legislative process
    • county and/or city officials
    • I’m uncertain

3) The “Restore Illinois” plan groups 11 Emergency Medical Services regions into four larger regions (Northeast, North-Central, Central, and Southern Illinois) that can follow different re-opening schedules. What do you think is the right number of regions for stay-at-home or quarantine rules in Illinois?

    • one: only statewide rules make sense
    • two, in case the greater Chicago area needs different rules from the rest of the state
    • four: the current plan is sensible
    • 5-20: more regional variation would be useful
    • more than 20: it should be possible to have variation by county or city
    • I’m uncertain

Economics experts want more regions, but the others are fine with the way things are.

4) How would you rank the following sources of advice the governor might take into account in making decisions about when, where, and how to adjust emergency orders? Please drag and drop the boxes so that they are in order from most to least important.

    -Legislators
    -Medical and public-health experts and officials
    -Economists
    -Public opinion
    -Other governors, based on experiences in their states

Legislators rank pretty low there.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

3 Comments
  1. - tom - Tuesday, Jun 2, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    “Legislators rank pretty low there”, especially considering we have a Governor in only his second year


  2. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jun 2, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    The stark split in question one between the very certain economics experts and the very certain public health experts is jarring.

    – MrJM


  3. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Jun 2, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    It would have been helpful if IGA had listed something about why each of these 27 individuals (rather small sample) is an “expert.” It gives their name and their institutional affiliation.

    One of the experts is a former Aging Director whose academic credentials and specialty is health system administration. He’s not a medical expert in the sense of being a physician or an epidemiologist.

    And, economists should be very humble about their expertise in anything whatsoever. It is the “dismal science” for a reason.

    Appreciate the effort, but hard to put much stock in this.


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